I Before Us. 

Sidestepping shadows as I stumbled home from the last hours friendly fuck,

I thought I had it all under control,

this insatiable desire to take everything that someone was willing to give, and then decide it  wasn’t enough.

Walking home in clothes that belong to someone else because I’m always looking for an excuse to go back to people who aren’t right for me,

bumming smokes in dirty, dingy bars, turning my lungs black for the kinds of men that don’t want to call me back.

I used to find a rhythm in the ways a Friday night was predictable

find, fuck, flee,

leave before I could be left

And call my mother every Sunday and tell her everything was just fine

and it was, before you.

Because  all it took was one moments stare from a strangers baby blue eyes and I was willing to give up three months of my time

before reality catches up and you’re too cold

I’m too needy,

and I’m crying in locked bathrooms wondering how I let it get this bad.

So I’m sidestepping shadows again,

only this time it’s because I’m scared of disappearing into the darkness again,

into memories of the way your fingertips wrote apologies on my skin for all the ways you would hurt me,

The ways you would promise to stay but always left again and again.

I’m sidestepping shadows in an attempt to take myself back to well-lit areas, away from men who leave behind bad habits and old t-shirts,

I’m almost me, I’m almost free.


A Requiem For the Summer Of You And Me. 

It’s a Tuesday and you’re lying outside trying to soak up the last rays of summer sunshine, you open up your eyes to stare at the sky above you,  

And the light from the sun hits your face a certain blinding way and you’re suddenly three months prior

 to when you bleached your hair and changed your phone number.

You’re remembering the way his voice sounded when he said


The ways he resisted you 

and how you resist the urge to call him every Friday night when you’re two drinks deep into beers with  different boys

 because none of them remind you of rejection

 and it scares you to think that’s what’s keeping you grounded. 

You’re sweating under summer sheets making love to boys who treat you like a jigsaw puzzle; everyone tries to put it back together but someone’s always fucking it up and walking away without giving it a second try. 

You’re remembering all the ways you asked

 Can I get close to you?

and how today  they sound like

Can I get over you? 

By the time your sight returns, the sun is setting on another day where you had to remind yourself that you’re not alone despite feeling lonely, 

 and you’re in a better place, 

 one where you’re promising you won’t wear his  sweatshirt for the entire month  of October, maybe you’ll burn it by December and stop lying to your friends about  dating new people, 

or maybe you’re still in the same place trying to forget the way regret tastes bitter in your mouth. 

The sun is setting on this day, this heartache, that boy, the ways you stitched up old wounds with new thread 

and it’s time you rediscovered the urge to go back inside and stop beating yourself up over how you can’t control the way the wind will blow or if he will choose to follow,  leaving you behind to pick up the pieces once the dust has settled. 

A Siren Song For The Sluts

You’re eight years old, hiding in your sisters closet trying not to breathe too loudly or else she’ll know you’re in there, trying to steal that one sweater again.

“I just don’t get why he hasn’t called,” she’s saying on the phone to her friend. “We hooked up on Saturday and that was four days ago.”

You don’t know it yet, but this will be the year your sister tries and fails to kill herself, after a note scrawled on the bathroom wall suggests there’s nothing else for her to do,

no one likes a disgraced, deflowered and dethroned virgin, and she’s too young to know that Eve didn’t just decide to eat the apple, and it’s okay to blame Adam when things go wrong.

You’re fifteen sitting on your best friends’ bed trying to piece together the events of last night, because the space between that first drink handed to her by a friendly upper classman and waking up with her pants around her ankles and her shirt on backwards is a gaping expanse of what will later become regret, a blackhole that will threaten to devour her whole, because that is what secrets do,

and who would believe the daughter of the town whore when she cries a four letter word that makes the Mayor’s wife hold her son a little tighter and demand she take back these accusations,

and you’re both too young to know the difference between the freedom to choose and being given a choice, too young to know that consent is not in your murmured acceptance of a strangers hands pulling you down the hallway and into places darker than the nightmares you had as a child.

You’re nineteen and lying on the backseat of this week’s friendly fuck, and he whispers sweet nothings as he fumbles his way around your body, pretending to know the difference between your sighs of pleasure and


And you’re too young to know the difference between fucking for fun and fucking to fill a void, because your dad hasn’t been home in three weeks and no one but your sister can navigate the minefield of empty wine bottles next to your parents bed, somewhere in the middle of it is your mother, too tipsy to teach her daughters that they are not women at the whim of the men around them.

So you’re twenty three and leaning on the edges of the bathroom sink for support, willing the mirror in front of you to open into a new world where the hand that fits so perfectly in your own doesn’t match the mark on your face,

breathless once reality has caught up,

damagd men will seek out damaged women and try to conquer the ruins left behind by those before him,

and some men plant flowers, others just pick them.

And you’re wishing you were younger, before the blood you taste from biting your tongue doesn’t remind you of all the times he told you this was all your fault,

before you started referring to each day as how many it had been since that last visit to the clinic and were handed those two little pills from a lady who just wanted to make sure this was your choice and not his,

and even after all this said and done, you’re still not sure

whether it was.


How To Be At A Loss. 

It’s that feeling the day after another failed firstdate when you’re trying to decide if you should fake it till you make it, or accept the truth in all it’s painful glory; 

That the man of your dreams only exists there, and that if he’s not calling you it’s not because he’s too busy right now, it’s because he’s not interested.

It’s the moment when one does  call, and you’re too wrapped up in the possibility that there might be someone out there who checks all your boxes, that you don’t see the one in front of you is more than happy to meet your highs expectations, if you’ll just let him know what they are.

So once again you’re all alone, and you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

It’s in the moment you realize it’s been almost 2 months since you last spoke to your sister, because sometimes we fight about one thing and it uncovers one million other reasons to hold off on an apology, but more than that is it it is accepting that even the people we love do not shy away from hurting us, and if that’s not the definition of growing up then let’s not grow up at all. 

It is, once again, when you find yourself taking that first sip of Earl Grey tea after abstaining for months, because that was his favorite tea, savoring the initial sweetness of it till all of a sudden the Bergamont tastes like blood and you realize you’ve been biting your tongue to keep from crying the whole time, so instead you throw the cup against a wall and watch the drips copy the pattern your tears make as they fall down your face wondering how it got so bad, wondering when they’ll name a natural disaster after him, because that’s the kind of infamy he deserves. 

It is when you force your way into the bathroom and find your find friend on the floor, and the only thing you know how to do is to join her there and repeat the lines you know you’re supposed to say 

it’s going to be okay or you’re going to get better, begging her to hear resolution in  your words and not uncertainty and you’re trying to find a way to apologize for letting it get so bad, because you know all too well how easy it is to get sucked into a black hole, devoured in a way that only secrets can do. 

So you’re sorry and he’s sorry and we’re all sorry and he’s gone and you’re misreading the signs that point home. 

 Maybe you’re lost or maybe you’re just stuck for as long as you want to be. 

For The Women Who Can Never Get Enough. 

I wanted to be perfect for you, to be kind and soft and strong and pliable, 

But somewhere along the way I became too much of all those things. Too kind, and my weakness irritated you, too soft and every way you could hurt me seemed that much worse when you actually did, too strong when neither of us would back down, too pliable when you needed a change, 

When you needed me to change. 
I traced please don’t go into your skin last night as you slept, 

Whispered into the dark all the secrets I had kept, confessed all the ways I had begun to hate you, in a last ditch effort to pretend like admitting the reasons had become a reality was the same thing as pretending they hadn’t. 

But when you’re leaving dishes in the sink, I’m memorizing the names of all the men I’ve loved before you, wondering if any of them will take me back. 

I took the steady rise and fall of your body in its sleep cycle as forgiveness, the silence as you slept on unaware of what was happening as my penance. This was supposed to be how I showed that I cared, 

To be able to tell you these things was to be able to not need to, ever again, 

But the spot where you were sleeping just hours ago is empty, I let my guard down and closed my eyes and you snuck out, and I wish you had taken the sun with you and I can’t hide that

I’m sorry, but I have to is becoming more visible between the spots my tears made as they dropped onto the sheets.